“Pornography: The Secret History of Civilization” (2005) is useful for showing that non-procreational sex and sexual enjoyment are not “modern,” and that using and enjoying sexually explicit images isn’t new, either. I liked the first two episodes in the series, especially the second one, which shows how many explicit images there are in religious buildings and texts from the Middle Ages in Europe. Be warned, you need to watch these before showing them to be sure you can get away with it with your audience–for many students, even the artwork and religious drawings would probably lead to outrage today (which can be an interesting discussion in and of itself).

“Fenceline” addresses institutional racism, environmental pollution, and activism by looking at residents in a town in Louisiana and the divisions that arise between blacks and whites about the possibility of toxic waste contamination. It could be useful for discussing environmental issues or looking at why two groups in the same community could come to such different conclusions about what is going on.

PETA is well known for objectifying women in their efforts to encourage us to be kind to animals. Here are some print ads using (near) nudity:

In these two, they actually make women into animals in cages:

This one, found at Feministing, includes the following press release from PETA which in no ways tries to obfuscate their reliance on the objectification of women for their own purposes:

Wearing sexy yellow bikinis outside the legislative meeting of the United Egg Producers in Washington on Wednesday, six PETA beauties will crowd into three cramped cages to mimic conditions for laying hens on factory farms. The ladies will hold egg-shaped signs that read, ‘Chicks Suffer for Eggs.’

In case you were wondering if they were denigrating women as well as showing them naked and in cages… Here you go:

Because women’s natural bodies are actually quite disgusting, apparently.

Boys too!

NEW: Matt S. sent in three more PETA posters and a video featuring Alicia Silverstone:

To see this video featuring Silverstone on youtube, I had to verify my age and was warned that it might not be suitable for minors:

As Matt pointed out, if you didn’t know what PETA is, these ads could just as well work as pro-fur ads, by implying that if you buy a woman a fur, she’ll get naked and be sexually available to you.

Thanks, Matt!

This t-shirt was available from Delia’s, a mail-order catalog that targets girls between the ages of 12 and 15. They stopped selling it after some complaints.

This is one of the ads for “Tom Ford for Men”, a new cologne for men by Tom Ford.

Check out the extent to which the female model is objectified:

This mortgage company is using sexy retirees to sell mortgages. The gimmick is along these lines: Your relationship with your home loans should age as well as your relationship with your spouse. Here are three pics on the website:

Click here for the website. Make sure to look at the bottom right and find the link to the TV commercial (hint: wet t-shirt).

Women of color are stereotyped as more sexual than white women. 

This billboard draws on the stereotype that Latinas are always hot and spicy:


NEW: These three ads, sent in by Elizabeth A., are for Rio Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas (images found here).  The “card” representing passion just-so-happens to include a woman of color in a red dress with fire.

The Great Happiness Space is an amazing full-length documentary (available in full online) about “host” clubs in Japan. These clubs service women, mostly sex workers, who buy time with men (hosts, who also get a cut of all the money the women spend on alcohol) who pretend like they love them. The women establish long-term relationships with their hosts, spend sometimes 10s of thousands of dollars in a night, all to have the feeling that someone cares for them. So they earn tons of money giving sex to men and then they turn around and give that money back to men who give them affection (and sometimes sex). The hosts make between 10,000 and 50,000 a month. Also a great study in cross-cultural gender differences.

Ad Agency: Rempen & Partner, Duessldorf